Finding a theme for your yoga class
At the end of a particularly difficult day I found myself doing a 45 minute yoga class (specifically for that time of the month...) at home with Elena Brower, via YogaGlo. I had no energy and was tired of all the unhelpful thoughts that were rapidly creating within me a seriously bad mood. Knowing that I needed to get out of my head and into my body asap...I dragged myself to my mat, half-heartedly lit some candles and sat down with all my feelings of hopelessness right there next to me.
55 minutes later (I floated to the kitchen and made a cup of tea)
I feel grounded, lighter in my heart, calmer in my mind and less in battle with myself; I feel like I have the energy to be nicer to myself. Today’s class was not about challenging myself with difficult poses or building up lots of heat in my body. It wasn’t about sweating or moving so fast I had no time to think. It was about surrendering to the practise and letting go of struggling with the mood I was in.
The class was quite simple, the sequence not too difficult nor complex. What made this class special was the teacher’s intention behind each pose she chose to share. The words that accompanied each pose were a unique gift from the teacher to student. Elena explained the focus in each asana pose; in this instance the overall focus was directing energy downwards and letting go of anything not serving you right now.
The words were also accompanied by silence, beautiful silence in which I felt supported as I exhaled and let go of the negative thoughts I had brought to my mat. All the poses were familiar to me, yet with a clear intention behind each pose, the class became a new experience with a specific, relevant and powerful theme.
The theme of a class therefore can be approached from the perspective that the asanas of yoga provide a strong, powerful and inspiring foundation, on which a specific theme for a class can be built. The asanas do not have to be developed, altered or placed in a never before seen sequence; they are wonderfully healing, strong and inspiring just as they are.
What a teacher can do is become aware of what is present for them in life right now; what is captivating them, challenging them and grabbing their attention. They can then explore how this subject can be delved into, understood better or looked at from a different perspective through the journey of a yoga class.
The theme does not need to be unusual, complex or new, it simply needs to be something that has captured the teacher’s heart, something they want to explore first with themselves and then with their students.
It is the teacher’s unique journey in life (of which we are all on) and therefore their completely unique take on a theme, that will make their yoga class a beautiful gift to someone on a yoga mat longing to move from their mind into their body. It will be their own unique medicine to the world.